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Jefferson Davis BREEDLOVE, son of Simpson BREEDLOVE and his second wife, Emmaline Matilda HODDGE, was born June 13, 1864, in Mississippi, probably in Washington County close to Jackson, Mississippi. As a small child he moved to Smith County, Texas, with his parents, where his younger brother was born, then on to Coryell County, Texas, where he married Roxanna Pauline SPENCE on December 8, 1885. They were married by J. R. SEWARD, Minister.[COMMENT-10] Roxanna Pauline SPENCE was the daughter of John Thomas SPENCE whose family is described there. For pictures of this family, click here.
The family lived in Erath County, Texas, moving after some of the children were born to Austin County (just northwest of Houston) and then back to Erath County. Neighbors in Erath County included the GORDON families who were related to Roxanna Pauline and probably also J. D.'s parents, although they may have continued to live in the adjoining Comanche County, where Nora was born in 1890. Neighbors in Austin County included the SPENCE family. According to the birthplaces of the children recorded by R. T. BREEDLOVE, the move to Austin County occurred between June, 1892 and August, 1894, and the move back to Austin County after February, 1897, and before the following March. The couple moved to Tyler after most of the children were grown. "Annie" BREEDLOVE joined Pleasant Retreat Methodist Church in Smith County in 1912; J. D. joined it in 1913. There had been 29 BREEDLOVE members of that church through 1958. The church, was founded in ____ in part by the GORDON family. Although the article I have seen doesn't list the LEWELLEN family as a founding family, there were close relations between the GORDONS and the LEWELLENs and I firmly believe our family has been involved in the history of the church since the beginning. [COMMENT-11] In their last years J. D. and Annie lived in a house in Rule, Texas, where their oldest son, Charles Berryman BREEDLOVE, was Superintendent of Schools. Jefferson Davis BREEDLOVE died July 30, 1942, at Rule, Haskell County, Texas. Roxanna Pauline, who was called Annie, was born in Austin County, Texas, February 26, 1867, the daughter of John Thomas SPENCE and Nancy LEWELLEN or LLYWELYN SPENCE WHITWORTH. Roxanna Pauline died at Mineral Wells in Palo Pinto County, Texas, November 25, 1955, of cerebral hemorrhage and hypertensive C. V. disease and is buried at Rule.
The 1910 Erath County census shows Jefferson D. BREEDLOVE, age 45, married for 24 years, born in Mississippi, father born in U. S. and mother born in Alabama. He was a farmer, able to read and write, owned his home which was mortgaged and which was a farm. With him lived his wife Roxanna P., and children Charles B., son, high school teacher, age 23; "Rayford" T., a son, high school teacher, age 21; Nancy L., a daughter, age 19; Henry H., a son, age 17, a farm laborer; Jesse D., a son, age 15; James E., a son, age 12; Neil D., a son, age 9; and William "E.", a son, age 3. Also shown living there was William WHITWORTH, a father-in-law, born in England, born to a father born in England and a mother born in Texas, and age 72. This was Roxanna's step-father.
The early years of the family were described by one of the sons, Rhapherd Thomas BREEDLOVE, in articles written for the Quanah (Texas) Tribune-Chief about 1969. The first description is of the move from Erath County to Austin County, then back:
Seventy-three years ago we moved in an ox wagon. Those great, high-wheeled freight wagons made a lasting impression on a small boy. The tires must have been four inches wide; the wheels seemed six feet tall, the wagon bodies looked enormous, big as houses. That high ride on the great wagons was unforgettable. After four years, we moved again, this time three hundred miles north. That move took three weeks. Mama drove one wagon, while Papa drove the other. By this time there were five children, all big enough to raise some sort of bedlam almost all of the three hundred miles.
Evidently papa was a born mechanic. He was a self-trained country carpenter. In all my life I've never seen but one man who could use a saw so expertly. Quite often he would cut every board in a small house before even laying the sills, and when he finally erected the house, every stick of material fitted perfectly. His rules for rafter cuts were original. Later, when I had to work out complicated cuts by rules I learned in math, I found his were simpler, easier, and far more practical. I have no idea where he learned stonecutting, but during hard times he went up on the mountain, cut and dressed curb stones from that hard limestone with homemade tools, hauled them sixteen miles, set them in the ground in perfect alignment for fifty cents per line a foot.
Papa never slowed down, was always in a hurry and had no patience with anything slow. Everything had to be letter perfect and humming along.
Papa had little trouble with Jonas, [editorial comment: a horse] perhaps because they were so much alike. Both were big; both were proud and high-headed. Both were superbly masculine; both were definitely boss in their respective fields. In a wary sort of way, they were the best of friends and eyed each other unafraid. Jonas always had to buck a little on a cold morning, just for the sheer joy of living. And, while Papa always scolded him for it, I thought he enjoyed the horseplay as much as Jonas did. It was fun to watch that magnificent rider and the self-willed horse work off a lot of steam and then get down to the business of the day. Such a team they made, a six-foot two inch tall, two hundred pound man and a stallion made of nothing less than fire and brimstone working together. Both were hard-muscled and tough, endowed with unusual strength and agility, and both had every confidence that they were the kingpins they claimed to be. While both the rider and the horse were young, we had a new place, one of those we took right out of the wilderness, close to a creek that was lined with cane-brakes. Maybe there were thirty acres in a small horse pasture near the little house, the lumber for which Papa hauled forty miles. Then there was a small cornfield for bread and horse feed. The little one-room house had a shedroom, or lean-to on the back, no porch. A two-wire fence was strung around the house. A hog pen was near the gate, which was no more than a piece of lariat tied from one post to the other. Quite a set-up, corn in the patch, fish in the creek, and game to be had for the hunting! We had really come up in the world. Since there were herds of cattle running all over the country, that corn patch had a good three-wire fence around it. That corn was bread, for we were not in a wheat country then but on the Coastal Plain. [Editorial comment: This is the house in Austin County near Bellville.]
Now, Papa's boiling point was very, very low.
The year before we had moved in an ox wagon from a rented place. We simply camped at the new place until the house was built.
[Speaking of Jonas:] Neither he nor my father would settle for anything less than perfection according to their standards. To them, laziness and the botching of work were among the cardinal sins, never to be forgiven.
I recalled an incident of my early childhood. We then lived in Austin County. The year was about 1895. In those early days plagues of yellow fever would occasionally break out along the coast, and even bubonic plague was a dreaded and fatal disease. During a particularly vicious yellow fever epidemic, my father, along with many of the neighbors were deputized to ride a quarantine line, which was nothing more than a furrow plowed from east to west across the country. Each guard was instructed to let nobody cross that line from either north or south. His orders were to shoot any violator of that quarantine. Cruel, yes; heartless, no. That violator would be endangering the lives of hundreds of people. For the safety of the majority the minority was made to obey the law. Anything wrong with that? There were no shootings. People knew that those scattered settlers meant business. They had the interest of their families and their neighbor's families at heart, and they had no intention of permitting a few radical souls to get away with violating the law.
A year later we lived at another place. My father was working at a sawmill, forty miles from home. One evening just before dusk he drove his wagon into the yard, unhitched and unharnessed his team, called to mama and the smaller children, greeted the small half-bloodhound dog, and then started toward the log house.
Just then all perdition seemed to break loose. There was the sound of a dogfight, the yelling of papa and some of the smaller children, and the noise of a shot. Charlie, my older brother, and I were frozen by the outbreak. We had gone to the cornfield to gather feed for the hogs. The next moment there was that big dog coming straight toward us, having lost himself in the weeds about the little barn. We could hear papa still threshing through those head-high weeds hunting for the dog.
There had been a 'mad dog scare' in the community, and when we saw that dog coming toward us, Charlie yelled out, 'Here he is, Papa.' That did it! Here came that half-grown puppy and caught the mad dog just before he reached me. The mad dog broke loose from the pup and came at me again. By that time, I'd gotten a corn stalk, and when the dog was within reach, I hit him on the head. But he was up again after having a convulsion, and was again coming toward me. By this time the little dog had again gotten a hold. Down the mad dog went with another convulsion. Then he got headed away from us. When he was about fifty yards away, Papa got near enough to shoot. The barking of that old forty-four was very welcome. I was scared almost stiff, but headed home. My family said I jumped a five-rail fence. I'll take their word for it, for I don't remember.
The following is taken from a sermon by R. T. BREEDLOVE, about 1935:
My father used to say: 'I want my boys to have a better chance in the world than I had.' That was his way of saying that he wanted them to be of more value to the world than he with his limited means and opportunities for training had been able to be. He went to school almost none at all, and had always a hard time making a living for a large family of seven boys and one girl. But he did make a living, although now I do not see how he did it, especially in times like these, and there were depressions and hard times then as now.
As far as getting any of the goods of commerce together he failed, but he succeeded with his children. The eldest son has for nearly thirty six years been a superintendent of schools and touched literally thousands on thousands of lives with one of the purest and most unselfish and professionally devoted lives I have ever known. He is not only a successful schoolman, but he is a great Christian, and is in addition a great lay preacher, having filled this pulpit acceptably at one time. He is in demand all over his conference, and has more calls than he can meet. My father was successful as a guide and stay for his first son. The second is pastor of this church, the third child was a daughter who is and has been for about twenty years the wife of a Texas schoolman, a Christian gentleman if there ever was one, and is now superintendent in a West Texas County. The fourth is a teacher and farmer in Arkansas, the fifth and sixth are farmers in East Texas, the seventh is pastor of the church at Ladonia, Texas, and the eighth is a linotype operator, filling a very useful place in society, in East Texas. There were two others who died in infancy and will be joined by the other ten living when the last has wended home.
What follows are rough notes for a speech titled "Family Affairs" by R. T. BREEDLOVE written after his great granddaughter Lisa was a toddler.
A big family, and the problems of living were tremendous. There was even a problem of finding names. Charley, Rhapherd, Henry, Dean, Jesse, Irl!! Then there was Nora. Besides these, two died in infancy, as was too often tragically common then. They were Roy buried in Austin County, and Lottie, buried in Erath County.
Two of us seemed to be walking invitations to accidents. Henry and I were the perpetual candidates for disaster!
Henry rode for three hundred miles when he was two years old, standing at the front end-gate of a covered wagon, talking to the horses.
He was always prowling about the log house in Austin County. Most of the time he wore a red dress---poor boys in those days had to wear dresses until short pants were necessary!!---- So the old turkey gobbler knocked him down, stood on him and pecked away.
Later, poor Henry, tangled in wire, busted his nose in Temple! ---- Then he fell on a stump and smashed it again, all over his face. ---- Then he had the accident with the A-harrow; Then Dean threw Henry's hat on a burning brush pile--A pile driver hammer fell on a foot, smashing it.--- Car wreck in Arkansas.---- Power saw, almost severed a leg.---- latest stunt, Power drill in Dallas on a tall building. THESE, JUST SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS, never owned a car that didn't wreck. How even guardian angels got him this far, nobody can tell!!!
Take a look at Charlie! The eldest, always some sort of strawboss for the younger!!!!! Still in Austin County, Papa bought and sold cattle. Peppersauce-- knocked out some teeth! Once again he had to help with a herd of half-wild cattle, got run over and lost some more teeth. A lifelong reminder of a boy who had to boss everything in the family. He died in 1962. Had taught school for many years. Had the reputation of a strict disci-plinarian. Ganged and beaten by grown school toughs.
Later, poor Henry, tangled in wire, busted his nose in Temple! ---- Then he fell on a stump and smashed it again, all over his face. ---- Then he had the accident with the A-harrow; A pile driver hammer fell on a foot, smashing it. Then Dean threw Henry's hat on the brush pile! Then put Ernest's hat over a stump for Ernest to kick. Ernest carried that busted toe to his grave two years ago.
It was Ernest who left home when he was ten or twelve, along with Horace SMITH. After three days the boys came back. The family had been briefed not to ask questions or even to say 'hello'. I see you have the same old cat."
It was Dean and Ernest who kept telling Papa that the hog didn't seem very lively! One morning it was dead. ***Rattlesnake under the feed trough! Ernest in Navy!!
Snakes. My rattlesnake!!!---- Nick GORDON too!! Near tragedies. Papa in cotton patch. My old tree and owl and snake.[COMMENT-12]
DEAN'S MINISTRY!! Bobcat in cabin!! Wrestling the Champs! Bulldog with rabies! Women fighting in the Choir in Joplin. Grandson at Church in Lathrop, Mo. AND THE MAN WHO WALKED UP THE AISLE IN Oklahoma or Kansas, who wanted to whip a preacher.
MY SISTER, NORA! How would you have liked being the only girl in a family with seven boys? Knowing those seven boys, she should have had a ticket to heaven, with no restrictions!! Of course there were fights. She had got the worst of the melee. We were all at the table, folks away!! Henry, the one who always was asking for trouble, kept nagging. Nora threw the butcher knife! It stuck in the rough wall just where Henry's head had been!! That quieted the bunch.
That was the only escapade I remember concerning a gentle girl among a bunch of rough-playing boys....
What about parents? Never saw Mama cry, except when she lost her children in their infancy.
My father, when he was dying, said he had no friends.
R. T. BREEDLOVE talks in his writing about his mother's not getting upset, saying she was one of the calmest people he ever knew. She took danger, hardship, privation all as a matter of course.
A Mother's Day Article in the Tyler Courier-Times-Telegraph, May 10, 1953, states:
Pioneer mothers have played a major role in the growth and progress of Texas, and in Smith County, where they migrated in covered wagons at a time when there were only trails for roads, few bridges, and homes were built of logs hewn from verdant timber.
Typical of these stalwart women is Mrs. J. D. BREEDLOVE, who now resides with a daughter in Colorado Springs, Colo., but who travels alone by train frequently to visit her three sons in the Tyler area.
Mrs. BREEDLOVE's family settled in the territory, which is now Erath County, in 1858. During Indian raids the family took refuge in the fort at Stephenville. Her grandparents, who came from Illinois, are buried in the old Black Fork cemetery in Smith County. They settled in Smith County before Tyler was laid out as a town.
Mrs. BREEDLOVE was born in 1867 in Austin County. She married at the age of 19 in Coryell County, then lived in Erath and Austin Counties before migrating to Smith County.
Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. BREEDLOVE. With wages as low as 50 and 35 cents a day, supporting the large family required careful planning and ingenuity on the part of the parents. In the early days, Mr. BREEDLOVE supplanted the larder with game that he shot with a homemade rifle.
The most difficult time for the BREEDLOVE family was the drought of 1886-1887, during which no crops were made. There was little work. People went hungry for two reasons - they had no money to buy food and there was no food to buy with money. During this period, Mr. BREEDLOVE cut crossties in East Texas.
The drought was followed by the memorable blizzard of 1888. The blizzard followed a 'norther' and the temperature dropped to sub-zero in a matter of minutes. Cattle and people froze. A neighbor was stranded overnight at the BREEDLOVE home.
The country in the early days was infested with transient gypsies. On one stormy night when Mr. BREEDLOVE was working away from home, people, supposedly gypsies, sought entrance. Mrs. BREEDLOVE hid her small children behind a trunk and, with a gun stuck through the window of her log house, ordered the transients to move on.
When about 16 years old, Mrs. BREEDLOVE first saw a railroad. Her initial train ride was in 1908 to visit relatives in Smith County.
The 86-year-old woman has been a widow since 1942. Eight of her 10 children, ranging in age from 46 to 66, are living. They are Jesse BREEDLOVE, R. T. BREEDLOVE and Irl BREEDLOVE of Tyler; C. B. BREEDLOVE of Austin; Henry BREEDLOVE of Irving; Ernest BREEDLOVE of Fort Worth; Dean BREEDLOVE of Paola, Kansas; and Mrs. O. B. MILLER of Colorado Springs, Colo. She has 26 grandchildren. Three of her grandchildren are now in military service and four served during World War II. In spite of her advanced age, Mrs. BREEDLOVE is alert and active. She both sees and hears well. She spends her leisure time crocheting, knitting and piecing quilts. She has always been fond of the outdoors and enjoyed fishing and outings. She is a member of the Methodist Church.
Reviewing her childhood, she chuckled over an encounter with wild hogs. She was in the woods gathering moss to use for saddle blankets when she was treed by the animals.
Modern women, she states, have things much easier than pioneer women. She should know because she cooked over an open fireplace when she was first married. She thinks modern conveniences, especially refrigerators and washing machines, are wonderful inventions.
The saddest moment in the elderly woman's life was when her youngest child walked off to school.
Her suggestions for a long life are: 'Be calm, try to live right, and take things as they come.'
Melba Jeanne BREEDLOVE SAMPLE, daughter of Ernest BREEDLOVE, recalls J. D. and Annie in the following:
I remember Grandpa BREEDLOVE as a tall man - seemingly rather stern at times, but I knew his eyes smiled even though his handle bar moustache concealed his grin. Grandpa BREEDLOVE was a cowboy in the true sense of that word. Early on he made his living breaking wild horses, and his body paid the price for that activity. My Dad was his son, and he told me Grandpa had more than a few injuries. One leg was so badly broken a steel plate was implanted in his leg. Later in his life he drove a freight wagon between Gatesville and Comanche, Texas, and was a farmer. I have always liked the western character portrayed by Sam ELLIOT in the Louis L'AMOUR stories about the SACKETTS. The character of Tell SACKETT is pretty close to the way I remember Grandpa. I remember being in their home on one occasion when Grandma sent Grandpa out to get a particular chicken that would be our dinner for that evening. He asked me to help him - my job was to keep the chicken headed back toward Grandpa so he could catch it. The chicken must have witnessed other times when Grandpa came out to get a chicken, because she sought safety under a building where we could not go. Grandpa tried using a broom handle to run the chicken out, but to no avail. I remember that in his exasperation, he used a word I had never heard. He said, "Dag-nab that ornery old chicken!" I don't remember how we caught the chicken, but I do remember going back to the house and reporting to everyone within earshot exactly what Grandpa had said! I learned later that was his favorite word to be used in those circumstances. I understand he could be a rather stern disciplinarian when it was indicated. His sons told a story about planting peas. It seems Grandpa sent them out to plant the pea crop for that year. They soon tired of the whole project and dug a deep hole and put all the peas in the hole, covered them up and went swimming. The peas sprouted and came up! Grandpa exercised the discipline that was indicated on this occasion. Each of the boys could testify that peas will come up from 36 inches deep.
....This union was blessed with ten children, and I understand that Grandma and Grandpa raised two more children in addition to their own....
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Grandma Breedlove is her busy hands. I can't remember seeing her when she was not doing something. She did beautiful handwork. She did a lot of things - crochet, embroidery, etc. - but mostly she made beautiful quilts - each done by hand. She liked to listen to the radio in the evenings when she finished her "work". Most of the years I remember, she lived with one of ther 8 living childrne. I remember when she was in her eighties, she would ride a bus from Texas to Missouri to visit her son. She visited all the children, always traveling on the bus or the train. Living with the children as she did, she didn't really have all that much work to do, but she always had her "work". When she sat down to listen to "Dragnet" or "Inner Sanctum", two of her favorites, she always had her work in her lap. She would cut blocks and piece them together by hand while she enjoyed the mysteris on radio. This interest did not carry over to television. I have wondered why, but I imagine she had her own mental image of the characters on the radio shows, and the actos and actresses on television probably were not compatible with the images she held in her mind. Two words that describe grandma would be strong and gentle. I saw in her a strength that is rare today. She gave birth to ten children over a period of 21 years. She also worked in the fields and raised a garden. it just naturally follows that she would have been very busy the early part of her life, and she just never changed. Grandma didn't talk much; I never heard her raise her voice in anger, but you knew what she was thinking. She had one expression that we all knew and understood. it was a king of "Hmmph!" With this one expression she could express joy, interest, laughter, disgust, disdain, and outright scorn. My Dad told me many times, that I use the same expression. As I have reminisced about Grandma, I realize the thing I remember most about her is her hands. Her hands were not pretty in that she did not have long slender fingers with tapered and manicured nails; they were sort of square with short square nails - one could almost identify them as working hands, and work they did. The beauty in her hands was expressed in the things her life produced - children who were productive citizens and the beautiful handwork she did. The genes that produced these hands were dominant, because all her children and many of her grandchildren - I for one - have those same hands.
Her hands were never still. Shortly before she died, she had a stroke, and I visited her in the hospital. She was unaware of anything going on about her, and again I looked at her hands. Where they had once been so active, they were still not. Their work was done! I like to think the Lord said, "Enough! Annie, it is time to rest!"....
Grandpa and Grandma and all their children are gone now, but what they were and their influence lives on today in the generations that follow them - to you and the generations that follow you.[COMMENT-13]
Daddy [Ernest] told me another story. He said one night he and Uncle Dean could not sleep, so they went to the kitchen about one o'clock and decided to make candy. They must have been about 6 and 9. You realize they had to build a fire in the wood stove - that took a while to get warm, so while it was heating up -- all the while the candy was sitting on the stove. They decided to go outside and they started "tearing around the house" in a little wagon of some sort, and they forgot about the candy. Well, it burned and they had to come up with some way to dispose of the pan, so they wouldn't be found out. They very carefully removed some of the wood in the bottom of the woodpile, hid the pot in the bottom of the woodpile and then replaced the wood. it was not found until the wood was all used up. Daddy said Grandma searched and searched for that pan.[COMMENT-14 ]
The ten children born to the marriage of Jefferson Davis BREEDLOVE and Roxanna Pauline SPENCE were these:
| Charles Berryman BREEDLOVE, Sr., born November 9, 1886, at Gatesville, Coryell County, Texas. He married Zella Caroline MILTON BREEDLOVE and died November 1, 1962. His children include |
|Rhapherd Thomas BREEDLOVE, born December 7, 1888, at Hannibal in Erath County, Texas, married Irma Lorene RICHARDS. He is described in the following section.|
|Nancy Lanora (Nora) BREEDLOVE MILLER, born June 7, 1890, at Dingler, Comanche County, Texas; married Oscar MILLER who worked in the school system of several west Texas towns and in Colorado. They never had children. They retired to Mineral Wells where Nora died July 8, 1982. "A frequent response to this piece of information [8 boys, 1 girl] about the family was, 'That poor girl!' To which each of the sons would say, 'Poor girl, nothing. If we did anything that didn't please her, she'd pick up a two x four and take after us. She knew Papa wouldn't do anything to her.'" [COMMENT-16]|
| Henry Harmon BREEDLOVE, born June 20, 1892, at Hannibal, Erath County, married Margaret Caroline JOHNSON June 20, 1917. They lived in Little Rock, Arkansas; Ladonia, Texas; and Irving, Dallas County, Texas. Their children were
| Jesse Davis BREEDLOVE, Sr., was born at Bellville, Austin County, Texas August 27, 1894. He was educated at Huckabay Academy, Huckabay, Erath County, Texas. He married Leta Ione STALLINGS, and their children were
|Roy Ellis BREEDLOVE, who was born December 29, 1896, in Austin County, died February 26, 1897. He was buried in Austin County.|
| James Ernest BREEDLOVE was born March 11, 1898, at Hannibal, Erath County. He married Eunice Loneta LONGMIRE, whom he met at Windom when his brother R. T. BREEDLOVE was the minister there. Ernest volunteered for the navy in World War I, entering on April 14, 1917, and being discharged Septemer 27, 1919. He spent some time in college although he did not graduate. He was a rural mail carrier, was a farmer near Tyler, and then worked for General Dynamics in Fort Worth, retiring from there. He built a house, boats, trailers, and a telescope in his spare time. Their children include |
| Neal Dean BREEDLOVE, born June 4, 1901, at Hannibal, was a Methodist preacher in the North Texas Conference, admitted in 1921. Dean left the ministry for a few years and when he came back to the ministry, instead of starting at a fairly low level within the episcopal structure of the Methodist church, he became a Disciples of Christ minister. He married three times, first to (1) Nola Jane ALDER. She was mother of his children. He was divorced from her. He married second (2) Mary WEAVER, who died. (3) Stella Irene ALDER LOWRY, his third wife, was a sister of the first wife. Neal died December 14, 1980. His children, |
|Charlotte Emmaline (Lottie) BREEDLOVE was born July 18, 1903, and died of dysentery April 22, 1905, buried Huckabay Cemetery, Erath County, Texas.|
| William Irl BREEDLOVE was born January 17, 1907, at Huckabay, married Ila Merle WARREN, whom he met at Tahoka when his brother R. T. BREEDLOVE was preaching there. He died February 1, 1968. They had
Because of the importance of the community of Huckabay in Erath County to the family, it's history is recounted here:
In 1875 a small group of pioneers from Arkansas and Tennessee acquired land here on the headwaters of the Bosque, starting the "Flat Woods" settlement. Confederate veteran John COPELAND (1841-86) taught the first local school session (1876, 1877) in his home, and gave land (1879) for a cemetery and (1883) for a school. A Church of Christ congregation was formed in 1876. G. W. GLENN opened the first store in 1878. Baptist and Methodist churches were founded in 1881.
John HUCKABAY, a farmer-storekeeper who brought the settler's mail from Stephenville, led in securing a post office (1888), which was named for him.
C. H. HALE, an outstanding teacher, founded (1902) the Huckabay Academy, a high school that later offered college courses. It is said the academy won every debate, oratory event, and athletic contest it ever entered. It closed in 1914. The village dwindled in changing economic and travel conditions. The school, churches, cemetery, and tabernacle became focus for the community. The post office closed in 1965. [COMMENT-19]
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Rhapherd Thomas (Ike) BREEDLOVE, the second oldest son of Jefferson Davis BREEDLOVE and wife Roxanna Pauline SPENCE, was born December 7, 1888, in Erath County, Texas around the Hannibal and Huckabay communities, in a house on Barton Creek. He married Irma Lorene RICHARDS, the daughter of Samuel Paisley RICHARDS and wife Maryetta (Mamie) McCARLEY , on August 18, 1914 at her parents' home near Dublin, Erath County, Texas. Irma was born April 16, 1893, at Dublin, Texas. She died April 6, 1977, at Quanah, Hardeman County, Texas. R. T. BREEDLOVE died March 25, 1984, at Quanah.
The spelling of the name "Rhapherd" obviously is unusual, and it is purported to be an old family name. Before it was given to R. T. BREEDLOVE in 1888, it was the name of his mother's brother, although in the records I've seen I've never seen that particular spelling. There was also a Rayford SPENCE in Austin County with the other SPENCE relatives who married in 1887, who may or may not be Roxanna Pauline's brother. I had always looked for RHAPHERD as a surname on the LLYWELYN side because while I've never found a Welsh surname of RHAPHERD, certainly the "Rh" initial spelling is indicative of a Welsh character. However, the fact that there are a Maurice RAIFORD, Sr., and a Baldwin RAIFORD living in Jefferson County, Georgia in 1820 among the extended family including Berryman JARMAN, his wife Mary WRENN, her brother William WREN, and other kinsmen Hardy POOL, Reuben JARMAN, and James POOL makes me believe the family's traditional name of RHAPHERD comes to through her grandmother Roscky Ann JARMAN SPENCE rather than through her mother Nancy LLYWELYN SPENCE.
Of an event that occurred when he was six years old and living in Austin County, R. T. BREEDLOVE wrote:
The old syrup mill, for sorghum cane, of course, was powered by a horse. A long pole lay across the top of the mill, the big end balancing the longer, to which the horse was hitched. My job was to sit on Old Jonas, a stallion and as mean as they came, and keep the mill in motion. The weather was warm, Jonas was sleepy, and would doze while he got slower and slower.... I was as sleepy as Jonas, just nodding along, barely moving. All at once papa threw a cane stalk at the horse. Jonas jumped, I fell, papa spanked, Jonas got a kick, and things were back to normal.
Speaking of later work in Erath county, he said:
It took me all of one winter to 'flat-break' less than ninety acres of land and look after some cattle and a few horses and mules. The fourteen year old boy had a good time; the work went well, but the batching wasn't so good, especially the cooking.[COMMENT-20]
He was a Latin teacher who had taught at Cottonwood where he boarded with Henry RICHARDS and had supper with the family of Sam RICHARDS and at Smith Springs, east of Stephenville. It was, of course, in the home of Sam RICHARDS that he met his future wife. At one school where he taught, he was cautioned when he was hired that the students, particularly the young men, had run seven other teachers off that year alone. When he came in, he announced that one of the first things they were going to do was to clear a field for a baseball diamond. Through a group effort, in which somehow there developed a rule that one person had to carry each log or stump off the field without assistance from others, the field was finally cleared with the exception of one stump which no one had been able to move. The new teacher, with a tremendous effort, was able to pick up the stump and carry it to the edge of the field. It was then he heard one of the students say to another under his breath, "Big Son-of-a-Gun, ain't he?" He made it through the remainder of the school year without following his predecessors in their early departure.
R. T. BREEDLOVE was also a circuit riding Methodist preacher when he met and married Irma Lorene RICHARDS. He later described himself at the time of the marriage as "a missionary in Fannin County, Texas, with at least twelve appointments to reach." He was admitted to the North Texas Conference in 1913 where his first appointment was the seven church mission at Telephone, Texas.
As a young man he pole vaulted. He had a chance to try out for the Olympics but did not. He played a valve trombone. His nickname of Ike came from a popular cartoon at the time he was a young man. Irma likewise was named for the corresponding character, but her nickname didn't stick. As a minister in the Northwest Texas Conference of the Methodist Church, he held pastorates in Telephone Circuit, Windom (Megargle), Rule, Tahoka, Paducah, Rotan, Chillicothe, Stratford, Brownfield, Levelland, Floydada, and Dumas. He retired from the ministry early, in 1946, because of his health and went to work with his brother Jesse in the nursery business in Tyler, a place known as BREEDLOVE Nurseries. At Tyler they had a house on an acre or two and they had all kinds of fruit trees, strawberries, and a huge garden. Both in Tyler and later in Quanah he had a woodworking shop and made beautiful wooden pieces. The woodworking shop was known as his "dog-house". They moved to Quanah in 1965. At his death at the age of 95, he was the oldest retired minister in the Northwest Texas Conference. He was quite active, even into old age. Fourteen days before his 80th birthday, he wrote, "To argue good humoredly with a wife who wants to slow down too much is good, especially when she insists that at this age a man should not climb trees to chop off branches, should not climb ladders or paint the ceilings. Such caution is unbecoming at her 75!"
Irma Lorene RICHARDS BREEDLOVE was a memorable woman. When you read the account of Bishop McKENDREE in his red underwear on the McKENDREE chapter, you can certainly see that he was Grandmom's kin. She was a wonderful woman, but she was also unique.
When she married R. T. BREEDLOVE, the wedding was speeded up so he could start a revival meeting. She could really spin a tale about the getting ready and the bride's bouquet made out of sun-flowers. There was an arch covered with the flowers, too. She was Presbyterian, marrying a Methodist preacher. It was not until after the birth of Sam, when he was a young child, that her sister Allora who was living with them at the time said she was going to join the Methodist church, and Irma decided she would, too. She trooped up to the front of the church where her husband was preaching, carrying Sam, and announced she was ready to join. I'm sure it was not the first such surprise he had gotten, and I know it was not the last.
She played the piano by ear and had a strong singing voice (LOUD). If her husband made a mistake of fact in telling a family story as a sermon illustration, she didn't hesitate to correct him from her spot in the choir loft or the pew, then and there. She had opinions about everybody and everything and didn't hesitate to share them. Of all the preachers she ever knew, only about four were worth knowing in her opinion. Ike was at the top of the list.
She called "Whoop, laudie" when surprised and entered the door on Christmas or Christmas Eve (or got up in her own house) and yelled "Christmas Gift" or "Christmas-Eve Gift". I've even heard her holler "Christmas Eve Eve Gift!"
She was large, and when her attention was called to it by a doctor, she poked him in his generous mid-section and said she would do something about hers when he did something about his.
She ate pepper on biscuits and just about everything else, and she loved buttermilk. She made sinfully rich boiled custard and pound cakes. She made wonderful prune cakes and the icing always "ran out the back door." She made wonderful homemade bread and "Grandmom pickles." We tried to figure out how she made things, but she didn't use a recipe or measure, so it was difficult to learn! The deprivations of being a preacher's wife during the Depression and World War II left her with a lifelong habit of having PLENTY of sugar in the house. When the church at Pleasant Retreat at Tyler gave them a large divided silver tray, she proclaimed that she could put turnip greens in this section, etc.
Other deprivations included the state of the parsonages in which the family was expected to live. She often found it necessary to go in and clean, boil, scour, and disinfect the whole house before moving her family in.
In her old age, after visiting her daughter and son in law in California, she and Ike got on the airliner. As soon as take-off progressed to the point the wheels left the ground, she exclaimed in a voice which surely even the pilot could hear in his closed room, "Praise the Lord, I'm going home!"
Like Ike, she enjoyed playing the game of 42 with dominoes, and she was very good at it in an incomprehensible way. Either she was incredibly lucky and always made the right moves without comprehending the game, or she was dumb like a fox at the game.
She believed that Methaladum could cure anything, and she always had a jar or two handy. In her advanced age, doctors almost did surgery to see what a suspicious image on the lung x-ray was before they determined the extent of Menthaladum she had put down her nose through the years and decided that was what it was.
Irma Lorene RICHARDS, born April 16, 1893, was brought up in the most Christian home and was always devoted to her church. She played the organ in her childhood while her father led the singing in a little country church. She was quite gifted in music, but never studied because she could hear a tune and play it exactly without hesitation. She attended school briefly in Dublin, near her home, then gave her attention to her parent's home.
When she was 21 she married R. T. BREEDLOVE, who was at that time a missionary in Fannin County, Texas, with at least twelve appointments to reach. With her beauty and musical ability she was invaluable help, resulting in unusual success, especially in revival meetings, where she might even stop her playing and go out among the people to do 'personal work'. Many people owed their conversion to her Christian devotion to 'The Call'.
Her children were deeply devoted to her, and of course she was to them. While her husband was holding meetings, or at times preaching or lecturing in many places, she had the home and children to care for, which she did most efficiently.
Her special love was for children in the Sunday School. Once during the worst of our depressions, she and her husband devoted themselves to visiting in tents, dugouts, shacks, and even reclaimed chicken-houses, and as a result she had a class of about 30 little children, for whom neighbors and good Christians provided worn clothing so they could go to church. Following that devoted work and visitation, about seventy new members were received....
The children of the marriage of Rhapherd Thomas BREEDLOVE and wife Irma Lorene RICHARDS include the following:
|Sam Rhapherd BREEDLOVE who was born June 22, 1915, and married Alma Ellen ANDERSON, who is described in the following section.|
|Mary Pauline BREEDLOVE, the second child, was born October 19, 1918. At the age of nineteen, she died December 20, 1937, in Brownfield, Terry County, Texas after a long illness, and she is buried there.|
| Irma Tom (Tommye) BREEDLOVE was born September 13, 1927 and named for both her parents. She attended Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth, Texas, where she met her future husband, Dan R. AGEE, the son of Dan R. and Mary Amanda AGEE. Tommye graduated from T.W.C. with a degree in Music, and she and Dan were married in December, 1948, at Tyler. They lived in Fort Worth and later in San Diego, California. Dan was employed with General Dynamics and with Consolidated, both jobs involving securing materials for the design and construction of aircraft. Tommye and Dan were the parents of:|
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Sam Rhapherd BREEDLOVE was born to Rhapherd Thomas BREEDLOVE and wife Irma Lorene RICHARDS June 22, 1915, in Telephone, Fannin County, Texas. While he was named Samuel when born, he doesn't like the name; he's my father, and I will do it the way he likes. He married Alma Ellen ANDERSON, October 19, 1941, at the home of her parents, 400 Cain in Quanah, Hardeman County, Texas. The marriage license was issued in Parker County because this was during World War II and he was active duty military and couldn't get off long enough to get the license in Hardeman County and get married there, too.
Alma Ellen ANDERSON was born May 2, 1916, in Beeville, Bee County, Texas, the daughter of Joe Holt ANDERSON, Sr., and Lena Lorice KERLEY.
Sam was the son of a circuit riding Methodist preacher. He started school in Rule, Haskell County, Texas, where the church was on one side of the house and the school was on the other. He graduated from high school in Rotan, Texas in 1933. He went to Tarleton College where he was captain of the band, playing trumpet, and ran track. When he completed Tarleton, which was a junior college then, he went to Texas A&M on a track scholarship. He ran hurdles, winning several first and second place medals in the Southwest Conference. Since he went to school during the Depression and was the son of a Methodist preacher who didn't have a great deal of money and had a daughter who was ill, he went to school three years and then dropped out two years to work. He completed his degree in 1941.
His father was minister in Chillicothe while he was in school. He asked his dad who to date, and he said, "Joe ANDERSON's daughter." He did. When he had gotten his senior boots after having worked so hard to get to be a senior, and having paid a sizable sum of money for the boots, he went to see his fiance who was teaching school in Goodlett. One of the students asked her after he had left "Who was that CCC boy who came to see you?" Since the Civilian Conservation Corps was not highly respected or a prized position, she didn't tell Sam about the comment for a number of years.
In World War II, Sam served in Accra, Gold Coast, Africa; Cairo, Egypt; and then in New Delhi, India, where he shared living quarters with pilots flying "The Hump" across Burma to China. He was in the "G-1", an adjutant responsible for getting folks to where they are supposed to be. He ended the war as a Lieutenant Colonel. He went back to A&M to bone up on his engineering skills before beginning work, and out-ranked many of the professors. He completed his Masters degree in Sanitary Engineering in December, 1946.
He worked for Wallace and Tiernan as a traveling salesman, selling chlorinators from 1947 to 1956, working out of Lubbock and covering a large area. He moved to Quanah in 1956 to work with his father-in-law at ANDERSON Sheet Metal Works and continued working there first as manager then as owner until the shop was sold in November of 1989. He was mayor of Quanah for a number of years beginning in 1961 when he defeated the incumbent by a vote of 302 to 275 and was active in the North West Texas Council of Governments and the Greenbelt Water Authority. He has a wonderful baritone voice and has led singing at the Methodist church and sung solos all his life. He was church school superintendent and held other offices. He has been active in Rotary for many years, having been president of the local club on more than one occasion.
Alma Ellen (Al) ANDERSON BREEDLOVE was the second child born to Joe and Lena ANDERSON, four years younger than her sister Emma Lorice and twelve years older than her brother, Joe Holt ANDERSON, Jr. Alma Ellen graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1932 and from Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth in 1936. Her major fields of interest were speech and English literature.
In 1936 and 1937, she was employed by the Quanah school district, teaching at Goodlett High School. Because she was only twenty years old at the time, a number of her students were not only older than she, but much larger in size.[COMMENT-21] During her two year tenure at the Goodlett school, she lived in Goodlett during the week and came to "town", i.e. Quanah, on the weekends. She was quite active as debate and public speaking coach, as well as volleyball coach on the outdoor courts.
In 1937-1938 she started teaching in Quanah at the high school. Again she was involved in coaching speech events and debate as well as teaching English and speech classes. Quite often her father drove her and the students to tournaments because automobiles were scarce at the time. In 1939 her girls' debate team of Jo Ann TAYLOR and Edna WALLACE SCOTT advanced to the state level. Mrs. SCOTT still attests that good coaching from Miss ANDERSON led from that meet to a college scholarship for her and her subsequent success as a college debater at Frank Phillips University. Miss ANDERSON taught in Quanah until the spring of 1941.
Alma Ellen married Sam BREEDLOVE at the home of her parents at 400 Cain on October 19, 1941, then went immediately to Weatherford, Texas, where Sam was stationed with the army. Their first daughter was born in Mineral Wells, and Sam was shipped to Accra, Gold Coast, Africa, when Mary Ellen was three weeks old. Alma Ellen and Mary Ellen moved to Quanah and stayed with her parents while he was overseas. In 1945 he returned home and they moved to College Station where Sam began work on his master's degree from Texas A & M. Barbara was born there, and soon afterwards the family moved to Lubbock, where Carol was born.
The family was active in St. John's Methodist Church, where Alma Ellen held a part-time job in the education department after the girls started school.
In 1956 the family moved back to Quanah, where Kathy was born. In 1965 Alma Ellen went back to full time work in the Quanah Independent School District. This was the first year of Title I funds for educationally disadvantaged children, and she taught remedial reading at the Travis campus when it was for grades four through six. One day a week the Douglas school students were bussed from their all black school for special reading instruction under Mrs. BREEDLOVE. Later, her duties were expanded. She took fifteen hours of extension library courses through Midwestern University and North Texas State University, earning certification for one-half day library work. She was named junior high librarian and taught sophomore English and speech at the high school. She directed the senior play and the one act play, coached UIL contests, served as class sponsor, and ran the junior class concession stand during basketball season before she took early retirement in 1976. She was full-time secretary-bookkeeper-receptionist at ANDERSON Sheet Metal from her "retirement" until November of 1989 when the shop was sold.
She has been a member of 1904 club since 1956, has been a leader of the junior club, and has served on various committees and local offices for the group. She has been a very active lay person for the Quanah First United Methodist Church, serving a number of years as head of the children's department and has served as camp counselor, teacher of Sunday school and vacation Bible school, teacher of seminars for children's teachers, and has done some conference level work along these lines. She has been active on the local level of the United Methodist Women's work, holding both elected and appointed posts for the group. She served as chairman of the Administrative Board for 1987-1988.
A consuming interest since 1959 has been the public library. Organized that year by a group of concerned and interested citizens, the first board of trustees was chaired by Mrs. J. W. SAMPLEY. Alma Ellen has been on the board since its inception, the last few as president. She was instrumental in the creation of the new building for the Hardeman County library. While a substantial sum of money was donated by Beebe THOMPSON SAWYER, grants, local donations, and coordination were needed greatly. After securing the funds, countless hours were spent in choosing architects, approving floor plans, overseeing construction, planning the move, helping set up the new facilities, and planning the open house which officially opened the THOMPSON SAWYER Library to the public.
She received the lifetime achievement award from the Quanah Chamber of Commerce for 1988.
Children of the marriage include:
|Mary Ellen BREEDLOVE TOLE PRESCOTT who married first Don Wayne TOLE and second Phillip PRESCOTT|
|Barbara Ann BREEDLOVE ROLLINS, me, who married Bob Mike ROLLINS|
|Carol Jean BREEDLOVE TRUITT, who married Rev. Richard Wolford TRUITT, Jr.|
|Kathy Joe BREEDLOVE GAEBLER, who married Walter Max GAEBLER, Jr.|
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